Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Simpsonsisms

I don't know about anybody else but I really like the animated television series "The Simpsons". There are so many episodes that are knock-out drag-down funny. What I find interesting, though, is how many "Simpsonisms" have made it into my every day existence. Here is a short list:

The "ribwich"

What started as a one-time Krusty Burger sandwich made of a now-extinct animal has turned into a common term in our vocabulary. McDonalds doesn't have a McRib anymore, they have a ribwich. "Hey look, the ribwich is back." Even the microwave garden burger soy-based ribs are "ribwiches". It's a name only The Simpsons could come up with and actually be better than everything else.

Doh

No explanation necessary?

Mmmm. Noun.

Another "Homerism"; where he will see something delicious, close his eyes, utter a slow "mmmmmmmm" followed by the food product tempting him.

The Canyonero

Can you name the car with four-wheel-drive?
Smells like a steak and seats thirty-five!
Canyonero! Canyonero!
Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down.
It's a country-fried truck endorsed by a clown.
Canyonero! Canyonero!
Twelve yards long and two lanes wide,
sixty-five tons of American pride!
Canyonero! Canyonero!
Top of the line in utility sports!
Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts.
Canyonero! Canyonero!
She blinds everybody with her super-high beam.
She a squirrel-squishin', deer-smackin' drivin' machine!
Canyonero! Canyonero!

Any gigantic truck or massive sport utility vehicle is usually referred to as the "Canyonero" even it isn't driven by some obnoxious dimwit. If it's massive presence obstructs something essential to your driving experience like oncoming traffic, a hot chick in another car, or sunlight; then it is a "Canyonero".

Cheese-eating surrender monkeys

This line from Scottish school groundskeeper Willie when forced to substitute-teach French class is now a common slam on the French or anybody from France or a French speaking Canadian providence. "Bonjourrrrr, you cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys!" A Google search retrieves 135,000 exact hits on this topic.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

LASEK, month one (almost)

It is has been almost a month since I had the LASEK laser eye corrective surgery. Yesterday I went for the one month checkup and here are the results.

According to the OD, my eyes are progressing normally for this type of procedure. The right eye is now 20/40 and the left eye is 20/50. The left eye is over correcting itself which is causing some astigmatism to (re)occur. I will still need to keep using the prednisolone eye drops but will be backing off the dosage every two weeks from four, to three today forward, then two, then one drop per day from now on. In two months I return to the facility for an eye mapping and the usual tests.

For the most part I am satisfied with the corrective procedure. My goals going into this were to be able to play sports without the need for glasses or contact lenses (I have trouble with contacts because I'm in front of computers all day and it doesn't make sense to plop contacts in just for sports), to be able to function (i.e. work, eat, sleep, play) without needing glasses, and to keep my existing good close up vision intact. Using glasses for driving or other occasional circumstances was acceptable (i.e. a pair of driving auto-tinting glasses). The healing process for LASEK is slow, much slower than the LASIK procedure.

Hopefully over the next couple of weeks or so, as I decrease the prednisolone dosage and my eyes correct themselves, the vision will slowly start to sharpen and if it wants to go to 20/20 I will be doing back flips. In the meantime, I just need a little patience.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Karma

Anybody watch the TV show "My Name is Earl"?

I was watching that show the other night and there was a sequence where penniless Earl and his brother, Randy, are trapped in the middle of a desert inside their car without fuel or a battery charge. In the morning a stranger passes by and offers $1,800 for their car. Randy tells Earl "take it Earl, you know this thing's only worth $1,500" so the stranger says "$1,500" and Randy replies "Take it Earl, we're desperate" so the stranger says "$1,200". Funny stuff.

The whole show revolves around "karma" – do good things and good things will happen to you. Do bad things and they will come back and bite you on the ass. In the show, Earl must right the wrongs he has listed on a yellow piece of paper to appease karma for taking a winning lottery ticket from him. This is only a television show, but sometimes it gets you thinking. When you are as bored as I am sometimes, thinking isn't necessarily the best thing.

As you can tell from the little menu on the side, I had LASEK surgery a little while ago. There were no major complications with the surgery; I wasn't blinded for eight days, there are no growths on my eyeballs, my eyes aren't clotted with gunk – things went okay. Things aren't perfect, though. I'm still not one of the eighty-five percent that can see 20/20 or better after laser eye surgery. My distance starts to blur after about fifteen to sixteen feet. I have an appointment in eight days and will know more but that is a lot of time in the day to accidentally slip into thought.

What effect, if any, has karma had on my LASEK surgery?

Most pieces of information I found stated 1 in 100 people have some sort of complication with laser eye surgery (within the first week). This must be good karma for something I did right either recently or throughout my life. It is now day nineteen (19) with the "new eyes" and since I am still not at 20/20 maybe the good karma I received to get through the surgery without complication is a "conditional karma" (i.e. here is some good, but you can do better – wink, wink) or maybe a "temporary karma" (here is some good karma on loan with fifteen percent interest payable ASAP).

On Friday I took a soccer ball in the face. If my eyes would have been uniform enough to have LASIK surgery, the flap could have been damaged and I could be blind in one eye. Is this good karma? I don't think so. Chances are good that if I would have had LASIK surgery I would have purchased special protective glasses and would have been wearing them when I got my face bombarded. So it wasn't good karma to push me to LASEK.

If I dissect the lack of 20/20 vision further it could mean I shouldn't be able to see things I used to be able to see with my glasses. Because of my vision I can't really talk about people behind their backs because they could be twenty feet from me and I wouldn't see them until I made some comment about their ineptness or horrifying body odor. I also cannot properly "babe spot" anymore. Some chick in the distance could be a complete package of tempting hotness but until they got close enough I would never know. They could actually be horrifying looking, or worse, illegal, or worse yet, a dude. I don't think it is karma telling me to not treat women as objects by staring at them because if that were the case my close up vision would have been fuzzy as well leaving me unable to view pictures or Internet porn.

I have received one comment about my looks without glasses. Maybe this is karma's way of nudging me out of geekdom and into a new, more attractive look? "You've suffered long enough you computer nerd, now go and stud yourself up". Then again, it could be karma's way of telling me to be myself; that no matter what I do to myself physically to change the flows I will never be perfect and will always find new or more imperfections.

Sometimes I think I think too much.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

LASEK – day thirteen

Today was supposed to be the deadline day where my vision really sharpened up. My vision is still not 20/20 and hasn't improved much since day nine or ten. I still have about two weeks before I go back for the next follow up appointment but I have a feeling I will either need touch up surgery or will have to deal with the less than perfect vision; it isn't back to where it was before glasses. Blurred vision is one of the side effects of the Prednisone corticosteroid but I the blurred vision should include close-up vision as well. My next follow-up appointment is two weeks from now, so I will know more then and they will probably take me off the Prednisone at that time. Reading success stories on the Internet reassure me a little bit because there are a number of responses where weeks and months passed before vision was sharp enough to make people happy. Of course, there is a wealth of negative opinions and horror stories. One study suggested that 1 in 3 people were unhappy with their LASIK procedures, some going back to wearing glasses or for a second procedure.

I played soccer today in the gym, which was really nice without the glasses. I can play goalkeeper without having to squint. One of the nice things about the LASEK surgery is that it doesn't have the fragile eye-flap like LASIK so I can be a little more active. I still have to be cautious about my eyes, though.

Monday, May 08, 2006

LASEK – day twelve

Played hockey for the first time today since the surgery. The freedom to be active without the hassle of glasses was refreshing.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

LASEK – day ten

Today I dropped the Vigamox drops and reduced the Econopred to one drop four times per day.

Friday, May 05, 2006

LASEK – day nine

My vision still is not 20/20. My sharpness is about twelve to twenty feet in front of me before it starts to blur. This really sucks because I can't recognize people where I work until I'm really close to them. It also means I can't do a lot of babe-spotting (what a bummer). My close up vision if good enough to go back to the 1600x1280 resolution on my monitor.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

LASEK – day eight

My close up vision is about 98 percent of what it used to be (razor sharp). There is small bit of blurriness.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

LASEK – day six

Finally I got those contact lenses out of my eyes. What a relief. My close up and distance vision wasn't the best but the OD said this was normal and it would take at least a week before things start clearing up.

I was going to go into work for a half-day but my close-up vision was just not good enough to make four hours of work worth the gas and time; so I stayed home and rested.

Monday, May 01, 2006

LASEK – day five

My close up vision is starting to return just a little. I read my electronic mail at work from my laptop (easiest to read).